Question: I was bitten by a dog at a dog park. Do I have a case?
Yes, if you were bitten by a dog, the dog’s owner is liable for your injuries, even if the bite occurred at a dog park.
Under California law, a dog owner is “strictly liable” for dog bite injuries. Absent certain exceptions (e.g., you were trespassing on the dog owner’s property when the bite occurred), the owner of the dog is on the hook for your claim. You have the right to make a claim against the dog owner for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If the dog attack will leave you with visible scars for the rest of your life, that adds significant value to your claim, particularly if the scars are prominent and easily visible by others. Dog bite wounds to a female’s face, for example, if they leave permanent scars, would result in the claim having significant value.
Dog bite attacks can also cause significant emotional wounds. It is common after a dog attack that the victim suffers a heightened fear of dogs, nightmares, and flashbacks of the attack. The dog owner is legally liable for this emotional trauma.
The fact that the dog bite occurred at a dog park, where dogs are not required to be leashed, does not absolve the dog owner from legal responsibility. Dog park, or no dog park, the dog owner is on the hook.
Even if someone other than the dog’s owner took the took to the dog park, under CA law, the dog owner is still legally responsible.
If you or a loved one was attacked by a dog and injured, call the dog bite lawyers at McGee, Lerer & Associates. Our attorneys offer free consultations and are available 24/7 to answer your questions and address your concerns.